Sales Contest Ideas

sales contest ideas

Sales leaders can motivate their sales teams by regularly incorporating contests for both individuals and teams. However, sales leaders face the challenge of coming up with innovative sales contest ideas that will motivate their sales teams and enhance their performance.

So, we’ve made that easy by developing a list of 35 sales contest ideas.

35 Contest Ideas to Motivate Your Team

Coming up with fresh and effective sales contest ideas is crucial for energizing sales teams.

In our list of sales contest ideas below, we’ve developed five general categories and included contest ideas for each category.

Fun Sales Contest Ideas

These sales contest ideas are structured around games, with each sales game designed to boost team spirit and energy.

Sales Bingo

Sales Bingo is a game where each salesperson receives a bingo card with various sales-related achievements or milestones such as closing a deal over a certain amount, getting a referral, or upselling a product. As they achieve these milestones, they mark them off on their bingo card. The first person to get a line or full blackout wins a prize.

Scavenger Hunt

In a Scavenger Hunt sales contest, salespeople are given a list of items or tasks related to sales activities that they need to find or complete within a specified time frame. For example, they might need to find a business card from a specific company, get a testimonial from a client, or make a sale in a certain industry. The person who completes the most tasks or finds all items first wins.

Deal or No Deal

Modeled after the popular TV game show, Deal or No Deal sales contest involves setting up a series of briefcases, each containing a different sales-related prize or incentives such as cash bonuses, gift cards, or extra time off. Salespeople have to earn the opportunity to choose a briefcase by meeting certain sales targets or quotas. They then have the option to keep their chosen briefcase or trade it for another one, with the value of the prize inside revealed at the end of the contest.

Spin the Wheel

Create a spinning wheel with various prizes or rewards such as gift cards, extra commission, or a day off. Salespeople earn spins on the wheel by reaching sales milestones or achieving specific objectives. This adds an element of chance and excitement to the contest, as the prizes are randomized.

Fantasy Sales Team

Divide the sales team into smaller groups and have them create their own “fantasy sales team” by selecting real or fictional characters as team members. Each team earns points based on the sales performance of their chosen team members. This encourages teamwork and strategic thinking while adding a fun twist to the traditional sales contest.

Sales Poker

Sales Poker is played similarly to traditional poker but with sales-related tasks or achievements replacing cards. For example, a “full house” might be closing five deals in a week, while a “flush” could be reaching a certain sales revenue target. Salespeople compete to build the best “hand” by achieving these tasks, with prizes awarded based on the strength of their hand.

Sales Olympics

Organize a series of sales-related challenges or competitions inspired by the Olympic Games. Events could include speed-selling contests, objection-handling relays, or role-playing scenarios. Points are awarded based on performance in each event, with medals or prizes given to the top performers overall.

Sales Jeopardy

Create a sales-themed version of the classic game show Jeopardy, with categories such as product knowledge, industry trends, sales techniques, and company history. Salespeople compete individually or in teams to answer questions and accumulate points. This not only tests their knowledge but also fosters friendly competition and team bonding.

Contest IdeaObjectiveDynamicsReward MechanismKey Benefits
Sales BingoTo achieve various sales milestonesSalespeople mark off achievements on a bingo cardPrizes for lines or full blackoutEncourages diverse achievements, fun, interactive
Scavenger HuntTo complete a list of sales-related tasksFinding items or completing tasksPrize for completing most tasks or finding all itemsPromotes creativity, exploration, task completion
Deal or No DealTo meet sales targets or quotasChoosing briefcases with prizes after meeting targetsPrizes in briefcases, chance to tradeExcitement of chance, goal-oriented
Spin the WheelTo reach sales milestones or objectivesSpinning a wheel to win a prizeRandomized prizes on the wheelAdds chance, excitement, varied rewards
Fantasy Sales TeamTo achieve the highest sales performance as a teamCreating teams and earning points based on performancePrizes based on team pointsEncourages teamwork, strategic thinking
Sales PokerTo achieve specific sales tasks or targetsBuilding the best "hand" with sales achievementsPrizes based on the "hand" strengthEncourages strategic achievements, competitive
Sales OlympicsTo excel in sales-related challengesCompeting in sales-themed eventsMedals or prizes for top performersFosters competition, skill demonstration
Sales JeopardyTo demonstrate knowledge in sales, product, and industryAnswering questions in a game show formatPoints accumulation, prizes for winnersKnowledge testing, team bonding, competitive

Monthly Sales Contest Ideas

Sales contests that are structured to take place over a month’s time help encourage consistent sales performance and help sales reps focus on long-term goal achievement. Monthly sales contests usually track cumulative sales and new client acquisition, as well as bulding upselling and cross-selling.

Leaderboard Legends

In this contest, a digital leaderboard is prominently displayed in a common area or shared online platform where everyone can see it. Sales team members earn points based on their sales performance throughout the month. The leaderboard updates in real-time, showcasing the top performers. At the end of the month, the top three performers receive prizes or recognition.

Monthly Milestone Madness

Salespeople set personalized monthly sales goals at the beginning of each month. As they achieve these goals, they earn rewards or incentives. For example, reaching 50% of their target might earn them a gift card, while hitting 100% could result in a bonus or extra time off. This contest motivates individuals to strive for incremental progress throughout the month.

Theme of the Month

Each month, a different sales theme or focus area is chosen, such as a particular product line, target market, or sales technique. Sales team members compete to excel in that specific theme, with rewards or recognition given to those who demonstrate exceptional performance or improvement in that area. This encourages versatility and adaptability among salespeople.

Client Appreciation Challenge

This contest emphasizes building and nurturing client relationships. Sales team members earn points by securing repeat business, generating referrals, or receiving positive feedback from clients. The focus is on providing excellent customer service and fostering long-term relationships rather than just closing deals. At the end of the month, the salesperson with the highest client satisfaction score wins a prize.

Cross-Selling Crusade

Encourage salespeople to diversify their product offerings by focusing on cross-selling opportunities. Each month, a specific complementary product or service is chosen, and sales team members earn points for successfully cross-selling that item to existing clients or incorporating it into new sales. This contest promotes strategic thinking and maximizes revenue potential from existing client relationships.

Contest IdeaObjectiveDynamicsReward MechanismKey Benefits
Leaderboard LegendsTo drive sales performancePoints-based system displayed on a real-time leaderboardPrizes or recognition for top three performersPromotes healthy competition, real-time performance tracking
Monthly Milestone MadnessTo encourage consistent performance and goal achievementSetting and achieving personalized sales goals with incremental rewardsRewards or incentives at various goal achievementsEncourages personal goal setting, rewards incremental progress
Theme of the MonthTo focus on and excel in specific sales areasCompeting in a designated sales theme or focus area each monthRewards for exceptional performance or improvementFosters adaptability, enhances product/market knowledge
Client Appreciation ChallengeTo enhance customer service and relationship buildingEarning points through repeat business, referrals, or positive client feedbackPrize for highest client satisfaction scorePrioritizes client relationships, encourages quality service
Cross-Selling CrusadeTo maximize revenue through cross-sellingEarning points for cross-selling a specified product or service to new or existing clientsRewards for successful cross-salesPromotes strategic selling, increases product familiarity

Sales Contest Board Ideas

A sales contest board is used to visually track the progress of the sales team, which can foster both a sense of competition and camaraderie. Depending on the office environment and the size of the sales team, the board can be digital or physical.

Deal Dashboards

Create individual dashboards for each salesperson where they can track the progress of their deals in real-time. Include key metrics such as deal value, stage in the sales pipeline, and expected close date. This helps salespeople visualize their pipeline and prioritize their efforts to close more deals.

Goal Thermometers

Use a visual representation of thermometers to track progress toward sales goals. Each salesperson’s thermometer fills up as they achieve milestones or reach certain targets. This provides a clear visual indicator of progress and motivates salespeople to reach their goals.

Success Stories Wall

Dedicate a section of the sales contest board to showcasing success stories and testimonials from satisfied customers. This serves as a source of inspiration and motivation for the sales team, reminding them of the impact their efforts have on clients and the company’s success.

Opportunity Quadrants

Divide the sales contest board into quadrants representing different types of sales opportunities, such as high-value clients, new leads, upsell opportunities, and cross-selling potential. Sales team members earn points for successfully converting opportunities in each quadrant, encouraging a balanced approach to sales strategy.

Milestone Markers

Use visual markers or stickers on the sales contest board to represent significant milestones or achievements, such as reaching a certain revenue target, closing a large deal, or winning a prestigious client. This celebrates individual and team accomplishments and fosters a sense of camaraderie among the sales team.

Product Spotlight Showcase

Highlight a different product or service each week or month on the sales contest board. Provide information about the features, benefits, and selling points of the spotlighted product, along with sales targets or incentives for promoting it. This encourages salespeople to familiarize themselves with the full range of offerings and actively promote featured products.

Contest IdeaObjectiveDynamicsReward MechanismKey Benefits
Deal DashboardsTo provide real-time deal trackingIndividual dashboards with metrics like deal value, sales stage, and expected close dateNone specified; intrinsic motivationEnhances focus on deal progress, prioritizes efforts
Goal ThermometersTo visually track progress towards sales goalsThermometers fill up as sales milestones are reachedNone specified; visual representation of progressClear visual progress, motivates to reach goals
Success Stories WallTo motivate sales team through customer success storiesShowcasing customer testimonials and success storiesNone specified; intrinsic motivationProvides inspiration, highlights impact of sales on clients
Opportunity QuadrantsTo encourage a balanced sales approachQuadrants for different sales opportunities with points for conversionsPoints for successful conversions in each quadrantPromotes diversified sales strategy, rewards versatility
Milestone MarkersTo celebrate significant sales achievementsVisual markers for major milestones like high revenue, big deals, prestigious clientsNone specified; celebration of achievementsFosters team camaraderie, acknowledges major successes
Product Spotlight ShowcaseTo promote knowledge and sales of specific productsWeekly or monthly focus on a product with details and sales targetsIncentives for promoting the spotlighted productEnhances product knowledge, encourages active promotion of products

Team-Based Sales Contest Ideas

Team-based sales contests help foster teamwork and collaboration. This type of contest encourages members of a sales team to work together towards common goals, which can enhance team spirit as well as collective performance.

Team Revenue Rally

Divide the sales team into smaller groups or teams and set a collective revenue target for each team to reach within a specified time frame, such as a week or a month. Teams earn points based on their progress towards the target, with additional rewards or incentives for exceeding the goal. This fosters teamwork and collaboration among team members to achieve a common objective.

Collaborative Cross-Selling Campaign

Assign each team a specific cross-selling initiative or product category to focus on. Teams earn points for successfully cross-selling products within their assigned category to existing clients or generating new leads. This encourages knowledge sharing and collaboration among team members to maximize revenue potential from cross-selling opportunities.

Client Satisfaction Showdown

Challenge teams to provide exceptional customer service and achieve high client satisfaction scores. Teams earn points based on client feedback, positive testimonials, and repeat business from satisfied clients. This emphasizes the importance of building strong client relationships and delivering value beyond the initial sale.

Lead Generation Blitz

Task each team with generating a certain number of leads within a set time period, such as a week or a month. Teams earn points for each qualified lead generated, with additional rewards for leads that convert into sales. This encourages proactive prospecting and teamwork in identifying new business opportunities.

Industry Expertise Showcase

Assign each team a specific industry or market segment to focus on, and challenge them to become experts in that industry. Teams earn points for successfully closing deals within their assigned industry, demonstrating knowledge of industry trends, challenges, and solutions. This promotes specialization and strategic targeting of key industries.

Objection Handling Olympics

Conduct a series of role-playing exercises where teams compete to effectively handle common sales objections. Teams earn points based on their ability to address objections convincingly and close the sale. This improves sales skills and confidence in overcoming objections, leading to higher conversion rates.

Sales Training Showdown

Provide teams with sales training materials or resources on a specific topic, such as negotiation techniques or product knowledge. Teams compete to demonstrate mastery of the topic through quizzes, role-plays, or presentations. Points are awarded based on performance, with rewards for the team that shows the most improvement or expertise.

Upselling Showcase

Challenge teams to focus on upselling and increasing the average order value of their sales transactions. Teams earn points for successfully upselling additional products or services to existing clients or increasing the size of their deals. This encourages proactive upselling strategies and maximizes revenue potential from each customer interaction.

Lead Conversion Marathon

Set a target for each team to convert a certain percentage of leads into sales within a specified time frame. Teams earn points for each lead successfully converted into a sale, with additional rewards for exceeding the conversion target. This emphasizes the importance of effective lead nurturing and follow-up to drive sales.

Customer Retention Rumble

Task teams with retaining existing clients and preventing churn. Teams earn points for renewing contracts, securing long-term commitments, and preventing client attrition. This reinforces the value of building strong relationships with clients and delivering ongoing value to retain their business.

Product Launch Palooza

Coordinate a product launch contest where teams compete to generate excitement and sales for a new product or service offering. Teams earn points for pre-orders, early adopter sign-ups, and successful launch event attendance. This drives enthusiasm and engagement around new product releases and encourages teams to collaborate on launch strategies.

Contest IdeaObjectiveMechanicsReward MechanismKey Benefits
Team Revenue RallyTo reach collective revenue targetsTeams work together to hit a set revenue goal within a timeframePoints for progress, rewards for exceedingEncourages teamwork, collective goal achievement
Collaborative Cross-Selling CampaignTo maximize cross-selling opportunitiesTeams focus on cross-selling within assigned product categoriesPoints for successful cross-salesPromotes product knowledge, collaboration
Client Satisfaction ShowdownTo achieve high client satisfactionTeams strive for positive client feedback and repeat businessPoints based on client satisfaction scoresEmphasizes customer service, relationship building
Lead Generation BlitzTo generate a specified number of leadsTeams work to generate and qualify leads within a set periodPoints for each qualified lead, rewards for conversionsEncourages proactive prospecting, teamwork
Industry Expertise ShowcaseTo demonstrate expertise in assigned industriesTeams close deals and show knowledge in specific industriesPoints for deals closed, industry knowledgePromotes specialization, strategic targeting
Objection Handling OlympicsTo effectively handle sales objectionsRole-playing exercises focused on objection handlingPoints for overcoming objectionsImproves sales skills, boosts confidence
Sales Training ShowdownTo master specific sales topicsCompetitions based on quizzes, role-plays, or presentations on sales topicsPoints for performance, masteryEnhances sales knowledge, team learning
Upselling ShowcaseTo increase average order valuesTeams aim to upsell additional products or servicesPoints for successful upsellsEncourages upselling strategies, revenue maximization
Lead Conversion MarathonTo convert leads into salesTeams focus on converting a percentage of leads into sales within a timeframePoints for each conversion, rewards for exceeding targetsStresses lead nurturing, effective follow-up
Customer Retention RumbleTo retain existing clients and prevent churnTeams work on renewing contracts and securing long-term commitmentsPoints for renewals, long-term commitmentsFocuses on client retention, long-term value
Product Launch PaloozaTo generate excitement and sales for new productsTeams compete to achieve pre-orders, early adopter sign-ups, and launch event attendancePoints for launch-related achievementsDrives product launch enthusiasm, collaborative marketing

Individual Milestone Achievement Contest Ideas

Individual milestone achievement contests recognize the personal achievements of sales reps. With these types of contests, individual sales reps are challenged to surpass their previous bests. Team members who do are then recognized not only for their personal growth, but also for the contributions to the team’s overall success.

Closing Streak Challenge

Challenge individual salespeople to achieve a consecutive streak of successful closes within a set time frame, such as a week or a month. Each successful close adds to their streak, with rewards or recognition given for reaching certain milestones, such as five consecutive closes, ten consecutive closes, and so on. This encourages consistency and momentum in closing deals.

Commission Accelerator

Set individual sales targets for each salesperson, with a higher commission rate or bonus structure applied once they exceed their target. For example, once a salesperson surpasses their monthly quota by 20%, their commission rate increases by 10%. This incentivizes salespeople to push beyond their targets and maximize their earnings.

Prospecting Power Hour

Challenge salespeople to dedicate a set amount of time each day to focused prospecting and lead generation activities, such as cold calling, networking, or email outreach. Salespeople earn points or rewards based on the number of qualified leads generated during the designated “power hour.” This encourages proactive prospecting efforts and builds a pipeline of potential opportunities.

Deal Value Champion

Recognize the salesperson who achieves the highest total deal value within a specified time frame, such as a quarter or a year. This contest focuses on the quality and size of deals closed rather than just the quantity, rewarding salespeople who secure high-value contracts or sales transactions. It encourages strategic selling and maximizing revenue potential from each deal.

Referral Royalty Program

Implement a referral program where salespeople earn bonuses or incentives for generating referrals from existing clients or professional networks. Salespeople earn points or rewards for each qualified referral they bring in, with additional bonuses for referrals that convert into closed deals. This leverages existing relationships to generate new business and rewards salespeople for their networking efforts.

Contest IdeaObjectiveDynamicsReward MechanismKey Benefits
Closing Streak ChallengeTo encourage consistent deal closingSalespeople aim to achieve consecutive successful closes, with milestones for streaksRewards or recognition for hitting milestonesPromotes deal-closing consistency and momentum
Commission AcceleratorTo incentivize exceeding sales targetsHigher commission rates or bonuses applied after surpassing targetsIncreased commission rate or bonuses beyond set targetsMotivates salespeople to surpass their targets
Prospecting Power HourTo boost proactive lead generation effortsDesignated time each day for focused prospecting, with rewards based on qualified leads generatedPoints or rewards for the number of qualified leads generatedEncourages consistent prospecting and pipeline building
Deal Value ChampionTo prioritize high-value dealsRecognition for achieving the highest total deal value within a timeframeRecognition or rewards for highest deal value achievedFocuses on securing larger, more lucrative deals
Referral Royalty ProgramTo leverage existing relationships for new businessBonuses or incentives for generating qualified referrals, with additional rewards for closed referralsPoints or rewards for referrals, bonuses for closed referralsEncourages networking and leveraging professional contacts

Celebrating Wins: Recognizing the Winning Sales Rep

The person who wins the sales contest should be recognized with some sort of sales contest prize, because it’s important to recognize the individual achievement. At the same time, the rest of the team should be commended for their participation. Overall, the win celebration should be geared to help boost morale while encouraging healthy competition within the sales team.

Ideas for Sales Contest Prizes

  1. Cash Bonuses: Provide cash bonuses as rewards for achieving sales targets or milestones. This gives salespeople the flexibility to use the reward as they see fit, whether it’s for savings, leisure activities, or personal expenses.
  2. Gift Cards: Offer gift cards to popular retailers, restaurants, or online stores as prizes. This allows salespeople to choose a reward that suits their preferences and interests.
  3. Travel Vouchers: Provide travel vouchers or airline miles that can be used for a vacation or getaway. This offers an exciting incentive for salespeople to work towards and creates memorable experiences.
  4. Technology Gadgets: Reward salespeople with the latest technology gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, or smartwatches. These prizes appeal to tech-savvy individuals and provide useful tools for both work and leisure.
  5. Experiences: Offer unique experiences such as spa days, concert tickets, or sports events as prizes. This allows salespeople to enjoy memorable experiences and create lasting memories outside of work.
  6. Recognition Awards: Recognize top performers with personalized awards such as plaques, trophies, or certificates of achievement. This acknowledges their hard work and contributions to the team.
  7. Professional Development Opportunities: Invest in the professional growth of sales team members by offering opportunities for training, workshops, or conferences related to sales skills or industry knowledge.
  8. Extra Paid Time Off: Provide additional paid time off as a reward for exceptional performance. This allows salespeople to take a well-deserved break and recharge while still receiving compensation.
  9. VIP Parking Spot: Designate a premium parking spot close to the office entrance as a special reward for top-performing salespeople. This perk adds convenience and recognition to their daily routine.
  10. Company Swag: Offer branded merchandise such as clothing, bags, or accessories featuring the company logo as prizes. This promotes company pride and serves as a tangible reminder of their achievements.
  11. Dinner or Lunch with the CEO: Arrange a special meal with the CEO or company leadership as a reward for outstanding performance. This provides an opportunity for salespeople to interact with senior executives and gain insights into the company’s vision and strategy.
  12. Wellness Packages: Provide wellness packages that include gym memberships, fitness classes, or health-related services such as massages or nutritional counseling. This promotes a healthy work-life balance and supports overall well-being.
  13. Charitable Donations: Allow top performers to choose a charity or cause of their choice for a donation to be made in their name. This demonstrates corporate social responsibility and allows salespeople to make a positive impact beyond their work.
  14. Home Office Upgrades: Reward salespeople with upgrades for their home office setup, such as ergonomic chairs, standing desks, or noise-canceling headphones. This enhances their productivity and comfort while working remotely.
  15. Team Outings or Events: Organize team outings or events such as dinners, parties, or recreational activities as a reward for achieving collective goals. This fosters team bonding and camaraderie outside of the office environment.

Why Hold Sales Contests?

Sales contests can help drive sales performance for individuals, as well as help align the entire sales team towards achieving business goals.

During a sales contest, new members of the team can be mentored and inspired to improve their sales skills. People who want to be involved in sales enjoy competition, and contests help excite the entire team.

Identifying the Best Sales Contest Ideas

Not every type of sales contest is a fit for every business, and every team of sales reps. After a contest, it’s important that the sale leaders identify which contest ideas worked, as to being motivators for the sales reps and also as to bringing results in increased sales.

Sales leaders must understand the sales process with an eye to the sales rep team dynamics.

FAQs: Sales Contest Ideas

Can contest ideas be adapted for remote sales teams?

Absolutely! Contest ideas can be adapted for remote sales teams by leveraging digital tools and platforms. For example, virtual leaderboards can track sales progress in real-time, video conferencing can facilitate team meetings and updates, and online collaboration tools can enable team communication and sharing of best practices. Additionally, consider incorporating remote-friendly contest formats such as virtual scavenger hunts, online trivia competitions, or digital sales challenges to keep remote sales teams engaged and motivated.

What strategies ensure sales reps stay motivated in long-term sales contests?

To ensure that sales reps stay motivated in long-term sales contests, it’s important to set clear and achievable goals, provide regular feedback and recognition, offer meaningful incentives and rewards, and maintain open communication channels. Additionally, vary the contest formats and themes to keep things fresh and exciting, and foster a supportive team environment where sales reps can share successes, challenges, and strategies with each other. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the contest and make adjustments as needed to maintain momentum and motivation over the long term.

How do sales contest ideas differ in a small versus large sales team?

Sales contest ideas may differ in small versus large sales teams based on factors such as team dynamics, communication channels, and resources available. In small sales teams, contests may focus more on individual performance and personalized recognition, with a greater emphasis on collaboration and shared goals. In contrast, large sales teams may benefit from contests that foster healthy competition among different subgroups or regions, leverage technology for scalability and tracking, and offer a variety of incentives to accommodate diverse preferences and motivations. Flexibility and adaptability are key to tailoring sales contest ideas to the specific needs and dynamics of both small and large sales teams.

What is an innovative sales contest idea that engages the entire sales team?

One sales contest idea that engages the entire sales team, including managers and sales reps, is a “Team Challenge Showdown.” In this contest, the sales team is divided into smaller teams consisting of both managers and sales reps. Each team competes to achieve collective sales goals, with points awarded for meeting targets, closing deals, and demonstrating collaboration and teamwork. The contest encourages cross-functional collaboration, fosters camaraderie between managers and sales reps, and promotes a sense of shared ownership and accountability for achieving sales success. Additionally, incorporating elements of gamification, such as leaderboards, badges, and milestones, can further enhance engagement and motivation throughout the contest duration.

Image: Envato Elements

Lisa Price Lisa Price is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 4 years. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism from Shippensburg State College (Pennsylvania). She is also a freelance writer and previously worked as a newspaper circulation district manager and radio station commercial writer. In 2019, Lisa received the (Pennsylvania) Keystone Award.